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A knock at the door is all it can take

Some issues in our community can seem too big for one person to make a difference—other times, there are modest ways you can help that make all the difference. A simple knock at the door or phone call to check in on an elderly neighbor is one of these ways. Our elderly neighbors are the fabric of our communities and every so often need a helping hand, especially in the isolating, cold winter months when heat and food can run scarce.
 
“Sometimes it's just a matter of being a good neighbor, taking a look at the situation and saying, you know, this is something that I can do something about,” says Steve Farnham, executive director of the Aroostook Area Agency on Aging.
 
Farnham wanted to bring this message to the public and ask community members to be a “good neighbor” to those around them, particularly the elderly who might feel isolated during the winter months. With a great idea but no budget to put it into motion, he reached out to The Aroostook Medical Center to collaborate on the project.

“We were excited to be a part of this project, however we knew that to be truly effective in getting the message out, we needed to expand the partnership,” says Karen Gonya, TAMC communications manager.
  
With their “Good Neighbor” theme, State Farm Insurance Company was an obvious choice for a partner. Their agencies in Houlton, Presque Isle, and Caribou were all quick to join the effort. Presque Isle’s local WAGM-TV also stepped in and donated their production time as well as matching any purchased air time with free air time.

The communications team at TAMC developed the advertising concept, wrote the scripts, and coordinated production for two television spots. The messages encouraged viewers to be a good neighbor, whether by reaching out and offering help with a specific task or by just periodically checking in on a neighbor. The campaign ran for eight weeks from mid-January to early March, raising awareness on this topic across Aroostook County.
 
“While focusing on the elderly, I feel the campaign reached across the generations by showing it not only takes a village to raise our children, it takes a village to care for all of our citizens, young and old,” says Kelly Landeen from WAGM-TV.